Comparing our insides to other people's outsides.
Oh my. This was a rare essay that, even in all its brilliance, did not make me run to the hills of comparison. It's been beautiful to watch your writing flourish over the past however many months since I first subscribed to your newsletter. I've for sure felt bouts of comparisonitis (love this, yes) with you--let's be real, I have those bouts with every newsletter I recommend. Maybe I'm just in a good place. But really, I think what happened is that you managed to communicate your message so purely that all I want is to hone my own writing so that it has a similar effect on another reader. Thanks for being a Georgia: today, it's me who feels jazzed.
I absolutely love the unfolding of your story back to inner-self, a place of not judging any timeline or starting point regardless of age or expertise .💗 As an artist myself, who has picked up and put down the brush & camera because of caring for a parent earlier than expected....well, it's easy to throw in the towel. After 30 years at the caregiver helm, I've learned to allow a slower opening. I embrace writing on the days I long to paint when I can't due to obligations, etc. This creative sidestep approach has allowed me to tap into other interests that were simmering. I've learned to suspend my inspiration and tap back into that exact moment of touching Source when I "have the time." Thank you for your loving words....they've inspired me to embrace that Grandma Moses and I may have more in common than I realize, and that's a beautiful thought! Marker adjusted, peace within. 💗👊
You absolutely thrill me! It’s a pleasure to read your words in the early morning, and to carry it throughout the day with me like a charm. This is a topic that’s so valuable to be reminded of, my fellow artist friends and I have admitted feeling this way about each other time and time again before loving.
Thank you thank you thank you
(I am excited for when the stars align and I can book a session with you (at the moment I’m feverishly saving for big travel) until then!)
I’ve recently deleted IG for this reason. Comparing myself with people who are years, if not decades, ahead of me in my craft was doing a great job of dissuading me from even trying to show up for my work. It feels a lot quieter now, and I can tend to the unglamorous work of unknotting what holds me back, and show up as best as I can - one foot in front of the other. I took me a very long time to realise that a practice, and indeed a life, is built incrementally and in the ordinariness of every day action, alongside the doubts, big feelings, and all. I enjoy your writing so much, thank you for sharing (I am going to become a paid subscriber when I am next at my computer!)
This is beautiful, Anna. Congratulations on supporting and encouraging other artists. The testimony shows how impactful it is. Wishing you, your mom and brother well during this difficult time. (That was shockingly awful what he did.) xo
Hi Anna! I've been lazing after a long week away just catching up on your writing. I skipped ahead to this one because I loved the title, which says it all. I have struggled with both making my writing a priority as a single mom and now caregiver for my son and "comparisonitis" - great word. Comparing insides to outsides as well as outsides to outsides, hello body image, have both been crippling at times. What you say here about how we bury or lock ourselves up with our misguided comparisons as well as previously about why we create, helps me to dig deeper and look into myself rather than the surfaces of others. Am I creating so that I can say I am better, the best, or to win a prize, or am I creating to give of myself something that might just touch another human in just the right way. Which you do on the regular. Thank you as always for sharing. xo
Thank you for sharing your inner doubts about your romantic relationship--I think that is one of the rarest things on the whole internet! But of course, everyone has them. And it's good to remember that having those thoughts doesn't invalidate the relationship by any means.
I love this! I have experienced very similar themes in my family life recently, and have had to make difficult boundaries that have been tossed into an uncertain future. I also feel, your writing about comparisonitis is soooo timely for me! I just recently made my first substack post which has felt really vulnerable and I'm full of imposter syndrome telling me I'm not a writer/artist. You are absolutely right, bringing into sharp relief who I am comparing myself to. Very beautiful and validating! Sending warm thoughts in navigating your changing relationships!
Thank you for sharing your words and inner thoughts. It’s so refreshing to hear your insight (which you’re soooo not alone in!). It’s vulnerable, raw, and real. I value the sentiment of comparing a beginning to someone’s middle. I find myself doing that time and time again and continuing to learn this lesson. It’s a nice reality check for me to know I’m not alone either. Thank you!
Feeling flooded with ache and tenderness reading about your mother... I wish I could give you the biggest hug from across the seas. ♥️ sending love. X